Math Is Story Too, Says Favorite Daughter

25 01 2008

Oh, I could write a whole literary review on these travesties they call “math questions.” Don’t even get me started on Lindsay, who works in a sporting goods store and apparently has nothing better to think about than how many tennis balls she’s sold today and how many of them were green and how many of them were yellow. . .

pink-tennis-balls.jpg

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Reading Power of Story plus 100 Books Every Child Should Read

24 01 2008

Cock of the snook to COD for this.

. . .In Finland they do things differently. Finnish children stay at home much longer. They play and tell stories years after ours are sitting down in school to a target-driven curriculum. Maybe that’s partly why Finnish children are happier, and maybe that’s why they rate higher in the literacy stakes.

Maybe they haven’t put the cart before the horse as we do. They give their children the time and space to grow up with stories, to enjoy them, so that the association develops slowly, organically
. . .We get ourselves all hot and bothered about the teaching of reading, about synthetic phonics and the like, and we forget that none of it is much use unless children want to read in the first place. . . If we really want our children to become readers for life, we would do well to remember that horses are much more fun than carts anyway.

UPDATE – more on how true book-loving changes lives at “Choose Nine Books for Your Gift Box.”.

UPDATE TOO – and Red Molly tells a story of how right reading wrongly, can ruin lives and the will to read (or the will to live, at least!)





JJ’s Top Ten Food-for-Thought Health Tips

24 01 2008

We’re focusing on getting in shape around here, integrating that into our unstructured unschooling. So when I saw a cookbook author’s top ten food tips for a healthy life, I noticed that it read an awful lot like a healthy learning lifestyle, too.

Changing only a few words can re-purpose the whole thing — here, I’ll show you what I mean.

First her food-lover list, then JJ’s recipe conversion into healthy food-for-thought tips: Read the rest of this entry »





Liza to Both Parties: Choice is “Progressive” at Home and School

23 01 2008

Today I found Liza’s passionate definition of homeschooling and all school choice as progressive, in conjunction with “Blog for Choice” essays I was reading. It reflects the same political connection I see, that education choices and family planning choices all belong squarely within the “the good, the true and the beautiful” no matter which party is making the political choices for us all.

. . .In this era of technological advances and global networking, in an era when MIT has open-sourced their whole curricula and where alternatives to hard-bound schooling are being thrown out the window in “the third world”, spending billions into warehousing children daily in a government sponsored building would seem anachronistic.

I am not saying that schools are not needed. I am saying though that the system of warehousing children in a school and imposing “mandatory attendance” minimums along with trying to pull out of the air “benchmarks of learning aptitude” is just utterly ridiculous.

All progressives should be for getting kids out of systems that fail them and putting the money back into not just the communities –through independent learning centers and better libraries– but back into the hands of families with part-time attendance school years, flex-time work hours and universal health care.

But no.

The fundies have actually succeeded at hijacking what would be a winner for the “open source” spirit of the web 2.0.





“Roe v Wade the Musical” Means Choosing to Live

23 01 2008

Last night’s “Boston Legal” episode was so titled. Its theme was choosing (without defining!) our own humanity and a fully lived life, in sync with Blog for Choice Day yesterday — and of particular note imo, because it turned the usual meanings and arguments upside down, to cast the real humanity in sharper relief . . .

Blog for Choice Day

Doc blogs for choice here (my comment there below.)

And this is the first anniversary of Nance blogging here for choice. 🙂

So here’s my stab at answering the 2008 question:

Why I vote pro-choice

“Mother” is a noun of identity as well as an action verb of continuous creative human volition, beyond any one discrete description of man’s science, man’s beliefs, man’s law, man’s dictionary.

Without arguing DNA or when potentiality as human life becomes “a” human life legally or spiritually, there is no argument that human life both legal and spiritual IS involved throughout — a woman (or girl) is undeniably a full-fledged thinking, feeling, autonomous human both biologically and spiritually, and when any Church or State says otherwise, it is wrong.

A living human female is no mere vessel, no test tube or incubator for man’s law to define and control through his Church or State (or by his own different human biology, for that matter.)

She IS human life and she’s continuously creating and defining the meaning of that life for herself, as she lives it, whether as a mother in any sense of the word, or not.

The meaning of “mother” integrates being and doing and choosing and accepting, both biology and belief.

The definitive book to read imo: Read the rest of this entry »





Unschool to College Is Un-Homeschooling Too — Let’s Call It Real Education

16 01 2008

There is a big email list called “homeschool2 college.” It is exhausting just to read! I can’t imagine and surely couldn’t bear such intense pressures on the family, of trying to do everything schools do fulltime for — to? — many children at once, as large homeschooling families taking this approach must do.

I suppose I always vaguely knew but never felt the real impact, of what all school-driven folk homeschooling or otherwise, go through to get their kids into college, even when all the schooling and drive is, well, homework. So here I am, hit upside the head again with the glaringly clear truth that anybody schooling at home has more in common with charter school parents than our unschooling does, by FAR. We’re the ones who should be griping about the confusion!

Wonder if that’s why they strain at any gnat of difference they can conjure, rightly afraid they are in fact indistinguishable from those schooling at home exactly as they are and for the same reasons, except with some public assistance to pay the bills?

All the while, you can’t help laughing to see them swallowing the camel of our differences within home education! (Matthew 23:24 for the non-bible readers among us)

Anyway, back to getting our kids in college from home: Read the rest of this entry »





Schools are Accountable to US, Not Us to Them

16 01 2008

Once upon a time, unschooling JJ dressed in her own academic robes and mortarboard, was quoted at “Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom” and in good company too! — Gatto, Emerson, Einstein:

“Nine out of 10 parents were publicly schooled. If they are unfit as adults to direct the education of their own children, then public schooling should hang its collective head and change its ways — not cement its collective failures into the constitution.”
~J.J. Ross, Ed.D.

Think I’ll add this site to Snook’s links . . .after all, as it says in the masthead:

“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” ~Proverbs 24:3-4